Sheffield research offers sound way to cut petrol bills

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BOFFINS at Sheffield University are set to be the motorist’s friend – after devising a system that uses ultrasound technology to look inside car engines.

The aim is to check how efficiently engines are working – which could lead to huge savings in fuel costs.

Ultrasound scans have long been a fundamental tool in healthcare for looking inside the human body, but have never before been put to use in testing the health of a modern combustion engine.

Now Professor Rob Dwyer-Joyce, a professor of lubrication engineering, has devised a method of using ultrasound to measure how efficiently an engine’s pistons are moving up and down inside their cylinders.

His team is ready to commercialise the technology and is looking for industrial partners who might be interested in pursuing the approach.

Prof Dwyer-Joyce said: “Our system could provide major efficiency savings in car engines.

“However, it could also be used on the larger diesel engines in deep water marine vessels, some of which use up to one tonne of oil each day.”